According to Consumer Reports, September is one of the best months of the year to buy a camera. While we don't track the prices of consumer goods, we tend to agree - now is the time to think about your next camera. With a few weeks to go before the Labor Day Sales start, its time to start doing your research as to what you want to get and what kind of deal you can get for it.
The number one rule for buying a camera is do your research. Unless you have crazy disposable income, you want to put some thought into the features and capabilities you can get for your price point. Since the manufacturers continue to innovate and offer new features and improvements every release, you'll definitely want to take some time to review these and figure out what appeals to you.
There are some cool features coming out this season that will cause prices to remain stable for new cameras, but could offer price breaks on older models. So if you see big discounts on certain models try to figure out what feature (or lack thereof) is driving it, then determine whether you can live without it. No one wants to by product and then realize "I wish I had bought the one that had the...". Chances are you can live without THAT feature, as we know most folks don't learn how to take advantage of their camera's capabilities (the entire reason this site exisits).
When it comes to research here are other things to consider.
- The manufactures all have different spins on the same sort of features, they call them different things. Try to figure out the equivalencies across the major brands (Canon, Nikon, Sony). it will help with your basis of comparison.
- Just because it is new and sounds innovative, doesn't make it better. Recently, I saw an advertisement that listed a new APS-C format. Is it new true - yes. Larger than most pocket camera's - yes. Better or equivalent to full frame - NO - but it sounds new and inferred better.
- The salesman doesn't know. Unless you are at a camera store, most sales people arent going to be able to give you too much insight other than what else is on sale in the store. Most sales person's knowledge is one level deep. More megapixels are better (OK - good). What's a megapixel? (ummm - babble - look at floor). Do your own research, you'll be glad you did.
- Consider the benefits and how they apply to you. Do you actually know how to take advantage of this feature and, time for some honest self inspection, are you going to take the time to learn to use it? We hope your answer to this question is "Yes"! If you want help learning how to use this new camera. Come to one of our classes - we'll be happy to help.